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Drawing of the skull of Incisivosaurus

Drawing of the skull of Incisivosaurus

Temporal occurrence
Lower Cretaceous ( Barremium )
128 million years
Scientific name
Xu , Cheng, Wang & Chang, 2002
  • Incisivosaurus gauthieri

Incisivosaurus is a genus theropod dinosaur from the group of Oviraptorosauria from the Lower Cretaceous China . The only species Incisivosaurus gauthieri was first described in 2002. Incisivosaurus was a small, two-legged theropod, which is characterized by the heavily elongated incisors , which give it its name,reminiscent of those of the hare-like (Lagomorpha) or rodents (Rodentia). Maybe it was a herbivore or an omnivore .

Find and naming

Incisivosaurus is known for its almost complete skull and partial cervical vertebra ( holotype , catalog number IVPP V13326), which were discovered in sediments ( Barremium ) of the Yixian Formation , a fossil-rich layer sequence of the Jehol group, about 128 million years old . The site is near the city of Beipiao in the Chinese province of Liaoning . The generic name Incisivosaurus is derived from the Latin incisus ("cut") and the Greek σαῦρος (sauros - "lizard"); the species name gauthieri honors the paleontologist Jacques Gauthier , a pioneer of phylogenetic systematics .

Features and systematics

Incisivosaurus reached less than a meter in length and, like most Maniraptora, was believed to be pinnate. In their first description, Xu et al. suggests that this genus was a very basal Oviraptorosauria and thus more primitive than Caudipteryx or the Oviraptoridae . The approximately 10 cm long skull shows the most pronounced dentition of all Oviraptorosauria - many other Oviraptorosauria had no teeth at all. Another study by Osmólska et al. from 2004 shows further distinguishing features ( autapomorphies ), such as the long snout, which made up about half the length of the skull, the thin lower jaw, which showed a long skull window, and the long, flattened incisors that emerged from the intermaxillary bone (premaxillary) the front end of the upper jaw. However, other characteristics were typical for Oviraptorosauria and allow a classification within this group; some cranial features even show a relationship with the Therizinosauroidea , a group related to the Oviraptorosauria, which may also have been herbivorous . Perhaps incisivosaurus with PROTARCHAEOPTERYX identical, another basal oviraptorosauria.

In popular culture

Incisivosaurus appears in the third part of the six-part television series Prehistoric Park - extinction was yesterday ; in the film, the animal uses colorful wing feathers for display.

Individual evidence

  1. a b Xing Xu , Yen-Nien Cheng, Xiao-Lin Wang, Chun-Hsiang Chang: An unusual oviraptorosaurian dinosaur from China. In: Nature . Vol. 419, No. 6904, 2002, pp. 291-293, doi : 10.1038 / nature00966 .
  2. Halszka Osmólska , Philip J. Currie , Rinchen Barsbold : Oviraptorosauria. In: David B. Weishampel , Peter Dodson , Halszka Osmólska (eds.): The Dinosauria . 2nd edition. University of California Press, Berkeley CA et al. 2004, ISBN 0-520-24209-2 , pp. 165-183.